Something new!

author 100 x 100     Well, lots of somethings new around here.

First and foremost: a baby girl will be added to my family. We’re so excited to welcome her. My #1son is about to jump out of his skin.

Second: a new book released–Sommerville days. Many of you know my love for stories with fun and sassy heroines. I’ve collected three together and wrapped them in an awesome cover. Here you go:

05 08 19 Sommerville Days Ebook Cover 1600x2400

Don’t you want to find a hammock under a shade tree with a tall cool drink (like almond tea) and a great book? Here’s a bit about Sommerville days:

Love blossoms in the small town of Sommerville in these heartwarming tales, filled with fun and forever possibilities.

Store Wars: The competition is heating up when Janie’s old flame returns to town and is running his family’s store. Could following dreams break her heart?

Raving Beauty: What if the love of your life was in front of you all along?

San Diego or Bust: When a young woman plans a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, disaster strikes—is her Mr. Right the right Mr. Right?

(My sister told me the end of “Raving Beauty” made her cry. I had never heard this about my work before because I write funny. And there are funny things inside, too.)

Find your relaxation device at: Vendor

And lastly: Handsome and I will be on vacation. I can’t wait. The heat is pretty strong after our rainy and cool Spring. Hopefully, we can dodge some of those oppressive days.

Happy Summer!

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Almond Tea-Mix together:   3 tablespoons instant iced tea powder
1/4 cup white sugar     2 cups boiling water    Add 1 (12 oz.) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate     1 tablespoon vanilla extract    1 tablespoon almond extract    Add 4 cups of cold water. Stir and pour over ice. Totally addictive.

 

 

 

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about SUMMER #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about SUMMER

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


I could imagine him spending his summer weekends sailing on Georgian Bay or golfing at one of the many courses in the area, and during the winter participating in all the winter sports the North had to offer.

Joanne Guidoccio


He’d specifically told her he was looking for a grandmotherly woman to take care of Jane over the summer break. If Josie Sparks was a senior, he’d eat his hat.

Jacquie Biggar


The next day I visited the local coffee shop, took a cab to Bondi beach, and spent the day writing under a huge umbrella.

S.A.Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about HONOR #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about HONOR

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Jared Martin needed to know he wasn’t playing a game. The way he’d suffered disgrace at the hands of that man was unacceptable. He wanted his honor back.

Jacquie Biggar


Everybody has to grieve, or remember, or honor . . . hell, I don’t know. We all have our own ways to cope with losing a loved one.

Claire Gem


Whenever I had visited, she waved me to the head of the table, an honor in an Italian household.

Joanne Guidoccio


Hair mattered for nothing, and if hers stayed white it would be a badge of honor.

Kathryn Jane


Her mother’s chocolate sheet cake, banana pudding, and apple pie honored her children even though only one would be present for the 4th of July celebrations.

Marsha West


Nate had no money or job or honor. His courtesy was the only thing he could offer Sarah, and he prayed it’d be enough.

Sharon Wray


“Nevertheless, we have to go back. It’s all about honor and integrity. You can pay with your dollar, exactly what you should’ve done in the first place.”

Vicki Batman


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Planting Red Herrings

When I shared an early draft of A Season for Killing Blondes, a beta reader complimented me on my use of red herrings and suggested the title could also be considered a red herring.

Puzzled, I asked for clarification.

She explained, “A red herring is a literary device that leads readers toward a false conclusion. Glancing at the title, I expected to read a thriller about a serial killer who had designated a specific time period for the Rampage.” She winked. “That’s definitely not the case here.”

A bit worried, I wondered if I was misleading my readers. Would they expect a thriller and be disappointed when my novel turned out to be a cozy?

She assured me that the title was well-suited to a cozy mystery that featured a brunette lottery winner as the primary suspect and four dead blondes killed during a two-week period. And she doubted that anyone would be disappointed at the end.

After our conversation, I decided to do more research into red herrings.

Several theories exist regarding the origin of the expression. Some believe that it refers to the use of a kipper (strong-smelling smoked fish) to train hounds to follow a scent. Another theory points to escaping convicts who used red herrings to throw off hounds in pursuit.

Many of the plots in Agatha Christie’s novels contain red herrings. In And Then There Were None, we assume a character who goes missing is the killer. Later, when his body is washed up onshore, we realize that his absence was a red herring that misled the other characters and the readers.

In The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown expertly uses the character of Bishop Aringarosa as a red herring throughout the novel. While reading, we can easily imagine him as the mastermind of the church conspiracy and are surprised when the real culprit is revealed. Intrigued by the bishop’s unusual surname, I probed further and learned that “Aringarosa” translates into English as “red herring.”

Another famous red herring example appears in The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. While walking through the Swiss mountains with Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson receives a message that an Englishwoman at their hotel is in urgent need of health care. He rushes back to the hotel and discovers there is no Englishwoman. The message was a red herring sent by the villain Professor James Moriarty as a ruse to isolate Sherlock Holmes at the edge of a cliff.

To keep my readers guessing while reading A Season for Killing Blondes, I introduced a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga teacher with anger management issues, a lecherous photographer, two “50something” mean girls, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.

From the reviews, I gathered that I had succeeded in maintaining the readers’ interest until the final chapters. My favorite comes from The Romance Reviews: “A well-written, character-driven murder mystery that genuinely had me scratching my head until the very end wondering who dun’ it!?”

Do you have a favorite red herring to share?

 

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Pinterest

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about JEALOUSY #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about JEALOUSY

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


I watched Jake’s crazy exterminator antics. Usually, most girls avoided killing the critters, not manly he-men. “You could try—”

Vicki Batman


The thought of her in bed with another man had the predictable effect of making him see red, jealousy twisting his gut into tight knots. Even though he hadn’t wanted her sexually in a long time, she was still his, God-dammit.

Jacquie Biggar


Both Conner and Jacob’s whistles split the air. Mercy scowled, and Daniel had to tamp down a flare of jealousy that surprised even him.

Claire Gem


Whenever I had thought of introducing the two men, I feared my feelings for David would provoke Carlo’s jealousy and lead to a break-up.

Joanne Guidoccio


”Do you always kiss your jockey, or just that one in particular?” Was he jealous?

Kathryn Jane


Mike almost laughed. Hard not to miss the sound of jealousy in her voice.

Marsha West


Nate smiled, and Sarah couldn’t help but stare at the red flush staining his cheeks. Should she be jealous of Miss Nell? Sarah was kind of silently joking and kind of not.

Sharon Wray


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONE DARK WISH and a Recipe for Strawberry Pie

JUNE BRINGS A PRE-ORDER LINK FOR ONE DARK WISH AND A RECIPE FOR STRAWBERRY PIE!

“Twisty plots, fantastic characters, and pitch-perfect pacing. Fabulous!” ―ALLISON BRENNANNew York Times bestselling author

Her life must be forfeit for his to be redeemed

Historian Sarah Munro is not used to being shot at, but that’s just what happens while she’s poking around cemeteries on Georgia’s Isle of Grace, searching for the key to a centuries-old cipher. Her quest has unwittingly drawn the attention of two deadly enemies intent on destroying each other―and anyone who gets in their way.

Ex–Green Beret Major Nate Walker is on a mission of his own: to restore the honor of his men. To do that, he is required to stop Sarah―or one of his own men will die. Caught in the middle of a deadly rivalry, Nate can’t afford to trust the woman standing in his way. But his heart says he can’t afford not to…

ONE DARK WISH, the second book in my Deadly Force series, is a fast-paced story filled with all the staples of a romantic suspense, including a race through the historic city of Savannah and discovering hidden tombs in a long-forgotten cemetery, as well as sexy times. Yet Nate and Sarah do have a few moments to pause, reflect, and figure out what to do next. I guess you could call these “dates”. lol

On one of these dates, Nate buys Sarah a slice of strawberry pie. Being from Boston, Sarah has never had a fruit pie that includes cointreau, kirsch, and whipped cream. And she falls in love. 🙂

I’ve included the recipe below for Sarah’s Strawberry Pie. I hope you love it, and ONE DARK WISH, as much as she does!

Strawberry Pie

1 9” pre-baked pie shell

2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and hulled

1 envelope plus 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin

¼ cup cold water

¾ cup warm water

1 cup sugar

¼ cup kirsch

1 Tablespoon Cointreau

Slice each berry into 3-4 lengthwise slices. Blend enough of the berries to make 1 cup of berry puree. Chill remaining berry slices.

In a small bowl, combine gelatin and cold water, stirring to dissolve. Set aside.

In a saucepan, add ¾ cup warm water and berry puree. Stir until mixture boils. Add sugar until dissolved and transfer puree to a medium bowl.

Add gelatin/water mixture to berry puree and stir until dissolved.

Strain berry puree through a fine-meshed strainer to remove seeds.

Partly fill a large bowl with ice and put medium bowl on top. Stir until mixture thickens into a syrup.

Stir in Kirsch, Cointreau, and the remaining chilled berry slices.

Mix well but gently and turn into the prepared pie shell. Chill for at least 4 hours.

Serve with whipped cream.


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

Her acclaimed debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

EVERY DEEP DESIRE is available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google

Adding it to your Goodreads TBR list is also always appreciated!

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about MURDER #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about MURDER

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


“You know that I’m a murderer? That I led my men into an ambush? I know the rumors, Sarah. I’m living the nightmare.”

Sharon Wray


I watched Jake’s crazy exterminator antics. Usually, most girls avoided killing the critters, not manly he-men. “You could try—”

Vicki Batman


He read the headline. Who names a killer the ABC Murderer? Was he an escapee from Sesame Street out to do in the Alphabet Gang? But one glance at the shocked and stony faces in front of him and he knew this was serious.

Jacquie Biggar


Sometimes he wears headphones, and if he’s alone he’s got the volume up so damned loud he can’t hear me if I scream bloody murder.

Claire Gem


“You heard Bob last night. To most of them, I’m still Meanie, capable of almost anything. Even murder.” Tears stung her eyelids.

Joanne Guidoccio


He wanted her dead. And he was more than capable of murder.

Kathryn Jane


He needed a Brutus-sized cold one at the end of the day, but he’d have to wait. He had a job to do, a murder to solve.

S.A.Taylor
Shutter (work in progress)


“I thought it would be funny. I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was a murder weapon.”

Marsha West


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about LOVE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about LOVE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


“I love you. You’re my daughter, and there’s nothing you can ever do that will change that.”

Marsha West


Because Sarah loved him, that meant there was only one thing to do. Even if she had to take on gunrunners, Green Berets, a bitchy senator, and the entire Fianna army, she was going to save Nate Walker.

Sharon Wray


Love didn’t happen at first sight. Lust, hell, yeah. But love… that was something poets wrote about, it wasn’t reality.

Jacquie Biggar


Daniel wasn’t going to let this get between him and the woman he loved. He— Wait. What? Loved? Where the hell had that come from?

Claire Gem


She closed her eyes and held out her hands. “And you are in love with someone who is worthy of you.”

Joanne Guidoccio


She told him of a childhood full of love and support from the people who rescued her as an infant, the ones she had called Mom and Dad.

Kathryn Jane


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Have a Secret Confession?

author 100 x 100   I like recipes. I like reading them, especially the dessert ones. And on Facebook, new ones pop up almost every day. So I print them off and put in my go-to pile. And that is as far as most of the recipes get–the go-to pile. As much as I like reading recipes, I don’t want to make baked goods any more.

Every now and then, I’ll get a wild hare—or is it hair?—and make something, usually for a special occasion, like Strawberry Cake.strawberry cake

Last week, I saw a recipe for a biscuit pull-apart bread with cinnamon sugar and pecans and baked in a tube pan. I’m thinking of making this one. It’s pretty easy for the company that’s coming. I know why I’ve made this change. There’s three good reasons:

One. My creativity has changed from cooking to writing, stitching, and reading.
Two. Handsome can’t swallow these foods. Long story involving cancer radiation from thirteen years ago.
Three. The boys aren’t home to help eat what I fix.

I grew up baking and helping Mom fix dinner. In my early adult years, I loved making goodies to share. Over time, food for the boys became what I could squish in between events. By Sunday noon, I was all cooked out. Eventually, they went off to school and trickled in and out of home. When do return, they really want a box of Cheez-its.

Are you a cook or baker? And if so, what’s your specialty?

asteriks 2

Here’s a bit of creativity to share—an excerpt from Just Desserts…and other stories. Someone said the line “I have a theory about love” and my brain when all creative. BTW, I’m always looking for reviewers. If you’re interested, let me know at: vlmbatman@hotmail.com

Just Desserts 400x600 72dpi

“I have a theory about love.”

Ethan’s statement knocked me from the proverbial mountain top. Eyeing him, I clapped my hand across my mouth to stifle a giggle.

From Day One at our new jobs at Prime Designs, Ethan and I had forged a friendship. I was the artsy heart-sy, emotional gal. Him–the technical, by-the-book pal. We ate an occasional dinner, watched a movie, whatever. Traded small gifts like coffee, a magazine, music. However, Ethan had never made an overture toward me.

Translated: Nothing intimate.

I’d said to myself, “Rats.”

For work, we’d traveled to Colorado Springs to attend a workshop on web design innovations. After check-in, I’d joined him at the bridge crossing the lake to decide about lunch before the meetings commenced.

My six-one geek wearing rimless glasses, leaned against the railing and stared into the sparkling blue waters of the high mountain lake. The feathered fowl paddled by.
Have his feelings changed?

I asked in disbelief, “R-really? A theory…about love?”

Find yours at: Vendor

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about HOPE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about HOPE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


“No, I’ll tell them. They should hear it from their father. God, I hope the media hasn’t broadcasted her name yet. Hurry,” Todd said, an urgency to his tone.

Marian Lanouette


Trying to confirm where Addie’s daughter was, the nurse picked up the chart from the end of the bed. Again, hope battered for a little light.

Marsha West


“When Nate watches you, I see something else in his eyes. Something that looks like hope.”

Sharon Wray


Uncle Pete frowned, his brows like bats wings over his eyes. “You better hope the hell not, kid. Your brother doesn’t like when you screw up.”

Jacquie Biggar


That’s what she’d intended to sleep in. She didn’t realize—although she had hoped—she’d be stripping them off before she closed her eyes to sleep tonight.

Claire Gem


I loved the feisty artist and hoped her bold prints would inspire my boomer clients to shake up their lives.

Joanne Guidoccio


“I hope you’re not sharing that with the government agencies.”

Kathryn Jane